To deal with the increased number of calls, the department has pulled staffers away from other duties, hired additional help, and planned to offer overtime.
The department prefers that people phone to register, she said, and in recent days it has extended call time by two hours, now available from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
After hearing about the length of time it takes to get through the initial telephone prompts, Amante said she has staffers addressing that issue as well.
She noted that January is historically the department’s busiest month, with the holidays over and many weather-dependent and seasonal employees filing for benefits. With unemployment benefits extensions granted early last month, it created “that horrible perfect storm scenario where it’s all coming at once.”
Alice Sweeney, acting director of the Department of Career Services, said career centers handle walk-in registration differently.
Some give out numbers for that day and the next day. She noted that while waiting, people can take advantage of career center services.
“The career center is there to assist them to find a job,” she said.
David Rattigan can be reached at DRattigan.Globe@gmail.com.